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4.7 out of 5 stars
Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Moms Mabley is a name most people don't recognize. I remember her from her appearances on Ed Sullivan. Here was a woman with no teeth, funny hat and house dress, and she was hilarious. As a pre- teen I recognized her humor was a little bawdy, but I did not yet know that word. Whoopi Goldberg has brought her comedic life to the screen in a documentary, covering her from age 29 to 75.

Loretta Mary Aiken was Mom's real name, born in 1897 in a little town in North Carolina. Whoopi relates mom's tragic early life, two children before the age of 14, birth given up for adoption. But once Moms went to live with a stage couple she learned to sing, dance and tell jokes of one sort or another. She took her stage name from an old boyfriend and calked herself Jackie Mabley. She started working the Chitlin cCircuit as it was called. The places that black people could play from the south up the East Coast and beyond. She became known as Moms and was beloved by the people who came to see her. One of her famous lines was:

"You think you're gonna hear some jokes, don't you?" we hear her say. "Well, Moms don't know some jokes, but I can tell ya some facts."

She played the Apollo Theatre,and was soon known to the White House and played all over the world. One of her jokes in other countries was that in the US we had something they did not. When asked, "what", she answered, "Segregation" and we want to get rid of it. Her political satire was not sharp, but well placed, and everyone understood it. She was soon making a lot of money and asked to appear on television, where she became known to wider audiences.

Whoopi Goldberg brought moms to life with this documentary. Many comedians speak to what Moms meant to them and what she brought to communities, black and white. She played Sing Sing Prison, and they loved her. She would play to any audience who would receive her. She said she was color blind, and indeed she brought that grace to many. Moms was known as a Lesbian to those who knew her, and that was fine. She was, at times known to be the 'funniest woman in the world'. She tackled topics too edgy for other comics of the time, including racism.

Moms opened the world for other female comedians, and she will be remembered for her wit and her love of everyone.

Recommended. prisrob 04-09-14
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I saw this documentary on HBO and it's always great to hear about strong and unconventional women! I had heard about Moms Mabley but I didn't realize that she was such a trailblazer, being the first African American woman to play at the Apollo and Carnegie. She was feisty and politically oriented, making racial relations and civil rights a part of her performance. In the documentary it said that men respected her and treated her as an equal in the industry. I also enjoyed hearing the perspective of other famous comedians, activists, etc about her influences on their life and craft.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2014
A revered and cherished icon of our past. Hopefully we won't forget or give honor to those who shoulders our present artist stand on.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2014
I bought this the minute I saw it. As a kid, I remember my mother owning lots of Moms' comedy albums. It was a treat when we'd gather around and listen. Moms truly was THE trailblazer, and it's wonderful to see her getting long-overdue recognition. Thanks to Whoopi Goldberg for bringing Moms back to center stage! An awesome documentary about the world's funniest woman with a heart of gold. As a Caucasian male, I can tell you: She did so much for the African-American community. Black, white, gay, straight, whatever...you just have to love Moms.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 21, 2014
This was a brief but important history of women's entertainment history. It showed the affect her career had in the foundation of women in comedy. She reinforced the idea that you did not have to be a Dorothy Dandridge or Marilyn Monroe to entertain. Her costume was a reflection of how women could laugh at themselves and yet be empowered by her words while still laughing their heads off. If you didn't know Mom's you should get to know her and this DVD will give you that privilege.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2014
Well researched and presented. Historical representation of a difficult era for Blacks. Enlightening. Great resource for Humanities class, especially Black humanities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2014
My memories of Moms Mabley go back to my childhood in the 1960s, when my mother would call us in whenever a Black performer was appearing on network television (back in the 60s, that was an EVENT). I have been a Moms Mabley fan my whole life. I eagerly awaited "Whoopi Goldberg Presents" and when it arrived, I enjoyed it quite a lot. My quibbles with it are few and minor, but quibbles I have: as the title suggests, there's nearly as much Whoopi here as there is Moms; the vintage (1940s-50s) footage leaves me begging for more - and then doesn't give it to me; and I wearied of watching words dance across the screen as Mabley album clips played - seriously, kids, this ain't radio; and Moms did a LOT of Ed Sullivan Shows.

Still, the film is very entertaining (I laughed, a lot) and hugely informative: am I the only person who didn't know that off-stage, Moms was a men's-suit-wearing butch lesbian, known to friendly acquaintances as "Mr. Moms"? Moms Mabley's story is an important chapter in the history of show business, Black show business, and (Who knew?) gay show business. It's hardly perfect, but if "Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley" turns out to be the definitive film tribute to Moms; well, the old gal could do worse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2014
Great!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2014
This is a very good video about Moms Mabley I recommend this video for everyone to purchase
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2014
My mother was a friend of Moms so I do know something about her. My first time seeing her was at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. when I was 11 years old which created quite a stir with my mother trying to keep her hands over my ears. I love the DVD and wish there were many more of her. I recommend the DVD to all who love Moms.
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